Lynn Ruane served as President of Trinity College Dublin’s Students’ Union for the academic years 2015-2016. She grew up in the Killinarden area of Tallaght. As a child she says he was was bright and eager to learn. However, something happens to aspirational children growing up in underprivileged areas. “As you move toward their teenage years, you begin to recognise that your parents and neighbours aren’t doctors or pilots and that begins to shape your idea of what is expected of you”.
She left school at sixteen as a young mother before returning to education through An Cosán, a community education project founded by Katherine Zappone in Tallaght.
After An Cosán, she studied for a diploma in addiction studies in ITT and spent the following fifteen years engaged in addition and community work in Tallaght and Bluebell. In the late 2000s she says the community sector “was ravaged by austerity cuts; cuts I was powerless to prevent. I knew I needed to progress with education to fight the injustice of the cuts to these vital services.” She Aapplied for and was successful in securing a place in Trinity College Dublin in 2011 through the Trinity Access Programme.
In 2015, she ran for students’ union president on a platform of access and inclusivity and was elected. She was elected to Seanad Eireann in 2016 and is a member of the Civil Engagement Group of independent Senators.